PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved the Department of Agriculture’s proposal to use the Office of the President’s (OP) contingent fund worth P1 billion to indemnify hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the country and establish cold storage areas in key areas for close monitoring of meat shipments, Malacañang said on Thursday, November 7.
The cold storage areas will be established in the Ports of Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu and Davao for "100-percent monitoring of meat products entry".
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President approved Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s recommendation during the 43rd Cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday night, November 6.
“To address the issue on African swine fever, the Chief Executive approved Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s request to use the remaining contingent fund of the Office of the President,” the Palace official said in a statement.
The President in September also approved the release of P78-million emergency fund for biosecurity and quarantine operations, disease monitoring and surveillance, upgrading of laboratories, capacity-building, and other disease control measures against the fatal hog disease.
In a weekly economic briefing, ASF Task Force head Reildrin Morales said the spread of ASF is still “managed” by the DA to reach its goal of total eradication of the virus.
According to a situation update by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on October 31, 2019, ASF cases have been reported in 22 areas in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Cavite provinces, and Quezon City in Metro Manila.
Around 62,000 pigs from these areas have been culled since the DA announced the first ASF case in the country in July 2019, the report added. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)